Directed energy weapons (DEW) have witnessed a notable increase in interest among various nations, including the United States, particularly for countering drone threats. These advanced weapons employ electromagnetic energy to deliver a range of effects, from deterrence to destruction. They offer unique capabilities that conventional weapons may lack. However, several challenges have hindered their widespread operational use thus far, limiting their deployment on a larger scale.
DEWs harness the power of focused electromagnetic energy to engage and neutralize enemy forces and assets. This category of weapons encompasses high-energy lasers and other high-power electromagnetic technologies like millimeter wave and high-power microwave systems. Their versatility in responding to threats sets DEWs apart from traditional projectile-based weaponry. They can employ various methods, such as temporarily impairing the electronics of a drone or physically incapacitating and destroying it. This adaptability makes DEWs a distinct and formidable tool in modern warfare scenarios.
The use of DEWs present both opportunities and challenges. Please read the full Government Accountability Office (GAO) report attached below.
Publication Date- May 2023
GAO Report- Department of Defense Directed Energy Weapons
GAO Report- Counter-Drone Technologies
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